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Pricing Homes in Niche Neighborhoods like Western Trails

Posted by James DeLoney on Monday, May 17th, 2010 at 6:20pm.

Successful marketing begins with accurate, well-positioned pricing.  Achieving top dollar for the sale of your home requires the use of a market expert who uses proven systems and marketing strategies.  While systems and marketing strategies are critical to achieving maximum value for your home, it takes a professional who demonstrates mastery of local market knowledge to effectively price your home.   The single most important element in the marketing of your home is accurate pricing. 

Pricing becomes particularly challenging and local market knowledge becomes even more valuable when selling a home in a niche neighborhood like Western Trails in South Austin.  This neighborhood is bordered by Ben White and Jones Road and West Gate and Manchaca in MLS area 10 North.  Western Trails is within walking distance from popular establishments like Central Market, Hyde Park Grill, Madam Mam's, Border's Books, Westgate Cinema, and Amy's Ice Cream.  Western Trails is 3 miles from Barton Creek Mall, 5 miles from Downtown, 10 miles from the airport, and 17 miles from Lake Travis.  And with immediate access to Highways 71, 290, Mopac, and I-35, the single biggest selling feature in Western Trails might be convenience.  

With all of these benefits, selling homes in Western Trails should be easy right? Actually, it's in niche neighborhoods like Western Trails where market knowledge separates the pros from the Joes.  In order to get top dollar for homes in Western Trails, you must understand pricing trends and selling features in surrounding neighborhoods like Southwood and Barton Hills.  The Barton Hills neighborhood is less than 3 miles from Western Trails, but properties sell on average for $100 more per square foot.  That is a huge price gap.  A local market expert will use this pricing disparity to put upward pricing pressure on homes by using this pricing gap to communicate the amazing value proposition Western Trails offers.     

Southwood borders Western Trails on the east side of Manchaca.  Homes in Southwood sell on average for $25 dollars more per square foot than homes in Western Trails.  Part of this disparity is explained by the inverse relationship between home size and price per square foot.   As a general rule, all things being equal with regard to property condition, smaller homes in a neighborhood get more money per square foot than the larger homes.  But statistical distribution only tells part of the story.   

Because homes in Southwood are smaller than those in Western Trails, affordability becomes a big factor.  Greater affordability increases demand, putting upward pressure on pricing.  Also, the larger volume of homes sold in Southwood provides greater exposure to the neighborhood.  A local market expert will use these trends to tell a story about the value proposition Western Trails presents.   You get more home for a better value in a neighborhood with a shorter supply of inventory.  These are all huge benefits to buyers when considering their home as investment. 

In the final analysis, selling homes in highly desirable neighborhoods on the surface appears straightforward and uncomplicated.  The reality, however, is that sellers stand to leave the most money on the table when selling in these niche neighborhoods.  Working with a local market expert is critical to ensure accurate pricing.  And overpricing is just as harmful to sellers as under pricing.  See my blog entitled Pricing Your Home.   Home owners owe it to themselves to enlist the service of a real estate pro who demonstrates a firm understanding of market trends in your neighborhood as well as those around your home. 

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